More golden nuggets from the Bob Burg “Endless Referrals” event on Wednesday. Bob had a great saying: “Money is the echo of value.” Value is the lightning, money is the thunder. You can’t get the thunder to show up before the lightning.

For us, “money” is any benefit we hope to gain from networking. Whether it is a new client for our business, an introduction to a potential employer, or even a recommendation for a caterer for our wedding, we have to realize that we are trying to get something out of a relationship. To grab another metaphor, we’re attempting to withdraw from the connection bank account. Before we do so, we’d better make sure we’ve made a deposit or two.

Can you make a referral to them? Can you make a recommendation? Is there someone in your circle they would like to meet? Can you set up a speaking engagement for them? Would you invite them to an event (and pay their entry fee)? How about treating them to lunch or a coffee? Can you help them achieve a life’s goal? How about just a monthly goal? Weekly? Can you even help them knock off something from their “to do” list for today?

Look for ways to make that lightning strike. The value you give doesn’t always have to be grandiose or expensive, but it should always show you care. Remember, the strongest relationships are forged through the smallest kindnesses performed consistently.

Photo credit: Thomas Bush